Reusable Shopping / Grocery Bags

People are switching from the flimsy plastic bag to reusable bags. A very good idea, in my opinion. They do help save the environment a little (I am not convinced they do it as much as other measures you can take). They can also save you some cash. My local supermarkets give me a credit of 3 or 5 cents per bag I re-use. The most valuable benefit I take out of them is that they fit more groceries per bag than the flimsy bags – less trips from the car to my pantry when I come back home. I am a believer now! I am using reusable bags.

Where do I get the bags? Most supermarkets sell you the bags for anywhere between $0.99 to $40 per bag (needless to say I am not inclined to buy either, and certainly not the ones at the upper end of the spectrum).

If you are like me, you want the bags free. I am one of those guys who wants to save the environment but does not wants to destroy his pocketbook in the process — so to me, any environmentally friendly policy has to be budget neutral or better.

So far I have gotten three bags for free, which I use every time I can.  I would like more, so that I can throw them into our cars and have them ready (rather than hanging them inside the house and remembering to bring them to the market).  If I do not have them easily available, it may be difficult to kick off the old habit of using the flimsy disposable ones.

Try these ideas:

  • Reuse Old Plastic Bags: Reuse the same flimsy plastic bags they gave you the last time and most grocers will still give you the credit. Use that trick until your free plastic bags arrive.  Even better, save nicer plastic bags given by the department and upscale stores, and re-use them.
  • Don’t Use a Bag: Think about things that do not need a bag.  Bulky items, especially.  Refuse a bag when possible.

Do you have any ideas of where I can get free grocery bags?  If you do, let me know please!